WE at the Narooma News and SE Fish Files are pleased to bring you the Ocean Hut Compleat Angler fishing report for the Far South Coast, NSW.
The expert and detailed fishing report is written by Narooma's own Darren “Dash” Bowater and is well worth a read with not only what is biting but some great tips too…
It is published on the Ocean Hut Compleat Angler Facebook page at the end of each week – please go to the page, “like” it and stay tuned with all the latest fishing reports and competitions.
Now over to Dash and see you at the Ocean Hut in Narooma soon! - The fishing editor Stan Gorton
Ocean Hut Compleat Angler fishing report - May 16, 2014
Here we are, nearing the curtains of autumn, before Mother Nature has finally come to the party, bringing with her a taste of the best that autumn has to offer, leaving the recent induction of winter, as a subtle hint of what lays around the corner.
This week we've seen some awesome settled weather, making conditions picture perfect for all enthusiasts, whether lure tossing, bait drowning, or even mask wearing, all have relished in the second to none conditions.
This weekend (other than a slight hiccup Saturday, where winds will reach 20knts) we can expect a similar pattern, with Beaming sunshine, Light winds, Settled seas, all the contributors to a great weekends fishing. So for those that have already packed up for the winter after enduring the recent cold snap, this is your chance to re-join the legion of die hard, all-weather fisho's, who know of no such thing as seasons end. It's your chance for one last hoorah! gaining some final memorable moments before hibernating for winter.
Here is your weekend report.
THE BIG BLUE: This weekend sees the Canberra Yellowfin Comp taking place down in Bermagui, so after 150 odd boats descend into the big pool and be line for New Zealand in search of the golden barrels, we should get a good idea of what fillets are available along the continental shelf. At present the Marlin seemed to have slowed a little, but the dolphinfish (mahi mahi) and small rat yellowfin Tuna are there for the show.
The Island has been fishing well for Kings, Bonito and other reef dwelling species but is fraught with danger, as the yellow plague is still haunting the depths, praying on anything that moves.
The little Tackle munchers are not so little anymore and have reached a size, by some that is considered table fair. A few fisho's have decided to make the most of the available resource, by changing tactics, and instead of trying to avoid Leather Jackets, actually fishing for them. Sounds like the best way to seek revenge on these "Yella Terra's", and from what I hear, they are a tasty delight, surprising the many that try them. I can tell you before you turn your nose up and stick your tongue out in disgust, the rumours are true, as they are a very sweet tasting fish, and If you've ever purchased
"Butterfish" from a restaurant or take away, then you've already tried it. For those that have decided "if you can’t beat them", "then you might as well join them", the rig is the same paternoster rig you would use for bottom bashing, the only thing that needs to change is the hook size. Use small hooks around the size 10 mark.
Although all styles of hook will work, with the most popular hook seem to be the long shank pattern, for they are less likely to be bitten off and easier to retrieve from the razor sharp guillotine teeth that await your fingers.
Moving back to the species that are more likely to stretch the muscles, kingfish have been great one day and off the next, which seems to have been the trend all season thus far. One day their all rats, and thick as a fish a cast, while the next day they're all legal size and in good numbers. Other days you might as well stay at home and fish in your bath tub, as it seems no two days are the same at present, thus making it frustrating when they don’t play, but memorable when they do. Lately it has been the afternoons coinciding with a tide change that have been more reliable, with Jigs and trolling the best methods. Live bait works well and is easily sourced at the Island, but if the swarming piranhas are around, it's like 10 kids with 1 lollie bag, as they make short work of any live bait suspended on a hook.
Also around Montague, a few Bonito have been crossing paths with the kings, so best method for these guys is generally trolling shallow divers or skirted lures resembling the sauries that are the current main menu. The bottom bouncers have managed a few Snapper, Mowies and other tasty reef dwellers around the rock, with the best places being, in close just south of the foul house and off the north eastern corner. If you plan to chase a few reds in close, undoubtedly the best method is anchoring and using burley. Once you have your Burley trail established, simply throw out some weightless baits and wait for the rod to buckle. If the current won't allow you to use weightless baits, just add a small ball sinker to get it down a little. This method will only work with a little or no current, after that you’re wasting good burley.
Away from the rock, Potato Point has been good for the majority of your reef species, but don't be fooled into thinking the trip will get you out of the Leather Jacket danger zone, as they are wide spread. If you decide to head north then I've heard from 50-70m to be the most productive for Snapper, Mowies and the likes.
The dessert drifters have been successful on the Flathead when the "yella terra"s can be avoided, but most have given up, due to the relentless attack on terminal tackle.
BEACH AND ROCK: It’s been a great week for those that have left foot prints in the sands, as near perfect dusk and dawn tides, alongside the full moon has made conditions very suitable to this arena. Salmon and the odd tailor have been the main stream, with pilchards and metal slugs between 25-40grm doing all the damage
For those that have made an extra effort in gathering live beach worms and/or nippers have managed to add bream, whiting and trevally to their bags as well. There are some really nice gutters around at present, so it’s just a matter of locating a suitable one for the species you’re wishing to target, and then working the rising tide. Some local lads have been shocked this week by the size and power of some sharks that cruise close into shore during the darkened hours.
On Monday night some mates went back to Brou Beach to try and catch the unidentified Brou monster that had destroyed every attempt of capture over the weekend. After reels screaming and smoking till emptied, 100lb traces being bitten off, and three guys left scratching their heads, it was time to get serious.
So a trip to compleat Angler for a five meter wire trace as thick as your pinkie finger, a meter long, 20mm thick bungee shock chord, a size 16 forged game hook, and some crimps, that would make a leader strong enough to hang Tony Abbott's broken promises from Sydney harbour bridge, the boys were ready to return for a proper crack.
The next part was the real eye opener, as they returned to the shop the following day, with a busted bungee, shredded wire, a straighten hook, and a story Stephen Spielberg would be proud of. One lad said he would never set foot in the water again as the Brou Monster took the whole baited slimy just behind the shore breakers.
The arsenal was again upgraded to a level not even Jaws could break out of, but only a couple of small Bronze Whalers were caught, leaving the "Bruce of Brou" unclaimed and unidentified.
If game fishing from the beach sounds like your thing then the late night rising tides, with the full moon will be perfect times over the weekend to try your luck, just remember to properly set up for the occasion, leave the light as a feather gear at home, as Its no use taking a knife to a gun fight.
Now that the seas have settled, rock hoppers have had some success with the likes of bream, luderick and drummer throughout the week, as well as a few salmon and tailor.
Most productive places seem to be Potato Point, Corunna Head, Narooma Golf Course, Glasshouse Rocks, and in Mystery Bay, 1080 and high rock.
Although the tides will have only just turned, I think it will be the break of dawn and the sinking of the sun that will be the cream on ya coffee, and with baits like mullet gut, cunjevoi and prawns for your Bream and Drummer, weed and cabbage for your Luderick, pilchards, metals and poppers for your pelagic species, you're playing to win.
RIVERS, LAKES, AND INLETS: How the tables have turned in only a few short weeks. It was only a month ago, places like Corunna and Wallaga were almost a "fish- a- cast", and it didn't seem to matter what method was used, or the level of skill, it was as simple as find a patch of Flathead, cast in and reap the rewards.
Now that the Temperature has plummeted in most inland waterways, the fishing has slowed to a point, you have to work hard for your result. Willy Nilly won't cut it, nor will any "old bait" or "rusty lure", it’s from here on, right through the winter months, where they boys will be separated from the men, the weekend hacker from the passionate fisho who pays attention to their surroundings, adapts and overcomes.
If you like to soak a bait, then it will be the ones who put in the hard yards and gather fresh live bait, such as poddy mullet, nippers, beach, squirt and blood worms etc, while for the lure vigilantes, things like size of your leader, sharp hooks, matching the hatch, and working your lure slower than a quadriplegic turtle, that will make a difference between feast of famine.
Going around the grounds starting from the Bermagui end, Wallaga Lake has plenty of options to keep one occupied for a day’s fishing. From the bridge to the entrance possess a main channel winding its way to the mouth, with lots of shallow flats and weed patches, and a small Island thrown in.
These areas are great for flathead, bream, whiting and trevally, while back at the bridge itself is a great hot spot for Luderick that inhabit the lake this time of year. Heading from there the very fishable main channel splits and makes its way into the main lake, where depths of 8-10m can be found.
The main lake has an Island with patchy reef and muddy flats surrounding it, while the rest of the lake is points and bays, with two large creeks entering from either end, creating and underwater theme park for species such as snapper, flathead, bream, trevally, tailor and many more, all that is needed is to find out what ride they prefer.
Up the road a little heading towards Narooma, you'll stumble across the best Flathead training school for fishos entering the lure world, but unfortunately Corunna Lake seems to be seasonal as the winter months can be a waste of time, as the fish shut down and close shop. Be quick as the sign is up flashing last days. Best months here seem to be from October through to may.
When you get to Narooma, the beautiful Wagonga inlet looks that of a post card, as the incoming crystal clear waters can be compared to one of a tropical Island paradise
At present the main channel is good for luderick, bream, mullet, and trevally, while the main lake is full of pinkie snapper, tailor, mullet, bream, and flathead, with a chance of a trophy Croc or Jewfish lurking in the depths.
Wagonga's main structure is the weed edges surrounding the entire lake, while several man made fish magnets (reefs) ly throughout, which can be easily found via a depth sounder. If you plan to fish the main pool in Wagonga then spending the time to find bait schools to work around is the key to success. Around the "drop off" and up the back of the inlet there are enough oyster racks to rebuild the "Endeavour", making it the perfect place to toss lures for Bream and Flathead, but only if your prepared to lose the odd lure, will you be successful. It’s always good to borrow one from yam mate, as you'll get it in the strike zone every time and it doesn't hurt as much when you lose it.
Mummaga lake is also one that slows dramatically through the winter months, but the persistent angler will seemly have the place to themselves and should manage a feed if desired, with the main species available being flathead, bream, tailor or luderick.
Up the back over the shallow mud flats seems to be the best for flathead, while bream and luderick will be more prolific around the drop off. Tailor as in every estuary system will be where you find them, with birds and sounders the best tools to locate them.
Tuross Lake is tough going like most others due to the sudden temperature drop, but will recover once the fish adapt to the colder water, which is around the 14-degree mark as of last weekend. I fished Tuross last week to find that it was a hard slog but the fish are seemingly there. Although we caught fish in just about every location fished, best areas were defiantly around the mid-section, being 4 ways, Horse Island, Borang and Trunky creek.
Most productive lures used where Zman curl tails in natural colours, and dark coloured blades around the 5grms. Sounds like a contradiction I know but it’s the fish that ultimately make the decision. Seen plenty of stationary boats fishing with dead baits, that all seemed to pack up by lunch time, heading home with their tails tucked.
The main target for us was flathead, with the odd bream found off some snags, I wouldn't call 14 Flathead and 3 bream, over 7hrs fishing for two mates "red hot"!! But a slow day on the water is better than a fast day at work. Hopefully the fish will adjust to the declining temperatures soon and the Usual "Terrific Tuross" will return to normal.
Hope you all have a fantastically awesome weekends fishing, Cheers, Dash.
Friday: Low 3:00pm 0.45m
High 9:29pm 1.95m
Saturday: Low 4:06am 0.30m
High 10:07am 1.48m
Sunday: Low 4:59am 0.31m
High 11:01am 1.45m
Leaving the full moon, heading towards the Last gibbous on Sunday, 18th.
Saturday 12.41am, 1.11pm
Sunday 1.40am, 2.10pm
For minor times just add 6 hours.